Posts tagged: street photography

Scenes from A Pivotal Era in the Gentrification of Miami Beach

E.J. Pence, competitive bodybuilder South Beach, 1990

Ocean Drive, South Beach, 1992

As with nearly every major city across the United States, Miami Beach was reduced to a shell of its former self. As the Nixon White House policy of “benign neglect” systemically denied basic government services to Black and Latinx communities, white flight caused the economy to plummet into the abyss.

Nixon’s attack on minority communities didn’t stop there as he invented the “War on Drugs” in 1971 as a way to criminalize the Black community and build the foundation for the prison industrial complex, in which legal slavery openly flourishes across the nation.

Under the weight of state-sponsored terrorism against the very citizens it purported to serve, cities collapsed into a horrific vortex of poverty, crime, illness, and death. Miami Beach was particularly hard hit as it became the stomping grounds for Colombian drug cartel during the 1970s and ‘80s. By the time Fidel Castro emptied the jails and sent 125,000 Cubans to Miami on the Mariel Boat Lift in 1980, Miami Beach’s glory days as tourist destination were a thing of distant memory.

Werner Bischof’s Breathtaking Portrait of Mid-Century America

Advertising signage, southern states, USA 1954

The Golden Gate Bridge from above, San Francisco, USA 1953

Magnum photographer Werner Bischof (1916-1954) arrived in the United States a year before his death and spent 1953 traveling across the continent. His series USA, currently on view at David Hill Gallery in London through July 26, 2019, is a vivid portrait of the nation as it rose to become a global superpower.

While most of his contemporaries were firmly entrenched in the tradition of black and white, Bischof broke free, using color to capture both the mood of a place and the quality of life, creating lyrical poems of extraordinary nuance and depth. The exhibition features a selection of 25 photographs that reveal his experiments in color and motion to capture the sensations of being in a rapidly modernizing country possessed with entirely too much faith in itself.

7 Reasons to Love the OnePlus 7 Pro Camera

I consider myself a somewhat unusual breed of photographer. While I once was an aspiring photographer with a passion for taking my own photos, about a decade ago I transitioned to the other side of the lens (so to speak) and founded Feature Shoot as a way to showcase the amazing work of other photographers I was coming across.

These days, the act of taking photos is almost like therapy for me. It’s a meditative state. It represents a time and place where I can stop and smell the roses. I mean that literally: most of my own work revolves around flowers – perhaps a bee buzzing around a flower, or even a reflection of a bee and a flower. Not very original – I know – but that’s not my point.

Celebrating “The Sweet Flypaper of Life” in Roy DeCarava’s Centennial Year

Roy DeCarava, Boy in park, reading, 1950

Roy DeCarava, Swimmers, 1950

“We’ve had so many books about how bad life is, maybe it’s time to have one showing how good it is,” Langston Hughes said of The Sweet Flypaper of Life, his landmark art book collaboration with Roy DeCarava recently republished by David Zwirner Books.

In 1952, DeCarava became the first African-American photographer to win a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship. He used the one-year grant of $3,200 to make the photographs that would appear in the book, a tribute to Harlem glowing in the final years of its legendary Renaissance.

DeCarava gave Hughes a selection of prints from which the poet wrote the story of Mecca through the eyes of Sister Mary Bradley, a fictional grandmother who knows everybody’s business and will put you on if you listen.

William Klein pays homage to the medium of photography

William Klein – New York. Atom Bomb Sky, 1955.

William Klein – Tokyo.
Dancers interpret Genet’s Notre-Dame-des-Fleurs in street of small offices, 1961.

William Klein – Moscow. Bikini, Moscova river’s beach, 1959.

A William Klein photograph is immediate, visceral, and intense. It will have you rooted then falling through a rabbit hole in the space/time continuum, Sure you’ve seen these photographs before — how do they stay fresh? How has Klein mastered the form so profoundly that you can see the ripples of influence, his style so transformative and informative that it’s syntax has become common parlance?

The answer lies in Celebration (La Fabrica), his latest book. The photographer, now 91, looks back over his life’s work and selects his favorite works in homage to the medium he loves. Traversing New York, Rome, Moscow, Madrid, and Paris, Klein’s choices are a revelation of the man behind the lens, the one in search of the electric sensation of being alive and forever paying it forward.

“Here is my preface for Celebration, with photos like Proust’s Madeleine. Is that a good idea?” Klein asks, ever forthright, with the understanding that to venture backwards can offer a thousand sensations and memories, the least of all for the artist himself.

Rediscovering Garry Winogrand’s long forgotten color work

Garry Winogrand (American, 1928-1984). Untitled (Cape Cod), 1966.
35mm color slide. Collection of the Center for Creative Photography,
The University of Arizona.

During the 1950s and ‘60s, Garry Winogrand made more than 45,000 color slides, socking away tens of thousands of unprinted images when he died. The Bronx native came from humble working class roots, where the journey — and not the end — was the purpose of his work. Winogrand photographed, and left an archive behind of the world seen through his streetwise eyes.

Known best for his black and white photographs that pioneered a snapshot aesthetic in fine art, Winogrand’s color work is now receiving its due in Garry Winogrand: Color at the Brooklyn Museum, now through December 8, 2019.

As the exhibition reveals, color was an ace in Winogrand’s hand. He was thoughtfully attuned to the vibrations that color imbued the image as a whole — as well as the way it enhanced our experience of the objects themselves. In his hands, color becomes a poem, a sonnet, an ode, a diddy bop that you can imagine Winogrand whistling while he worked making these photos.

Harlem Through the Eyes of James Van Der Zee

James Van Der Zee, Eve’s Daughter, c.1920
Gelatin silver print; printed c.1920, 6 1/4 x 4 1/4 inches

James Van Der Zee, Marcus Garvey with George O. Marke
and Prince Kojo Tovalou-Houénou, 1924
Gelatin silver print; printed c.1924, 5 x 7 inches

Picture it: Harlem, 1918. James Van Der Zee, 32, opens Guarantee Photo Studio on 135 Street just as the Harlem Renaissance was coming into bloom during the first wave of the Great Migration.

As northern Manhattan became the Mecca for Black America, Van Der Zee was there to record it all inside his studio and on the streets. James Van Der Zee: Studio, recently on view at Howard Greenberg Gallery, is a portal into the past, into a time when Black society thrived and set the pace for music, art, poetry, literature, dance — well, you name it.

Van Der Zee was no exception. He set himself apart by using painted backdrops and luxurious props in the studio to create elaborate tableaux for his subjects, and bathed them in sumptuous lighting to evoke a painterly touch, imbuing each photograph with the hand of the artist.

A Timeless Portrait of the Many-Splendored Faces of New York

Man with the Black Hat, 2016
Archival print mounted between dibond aluminum and anti-reflective acrylic glass
59 x 59 inches (150 x 150 cm)

Etienne Rougery-Herbaut Harlem Twins, 2018
Archival print mounted between dibond aluminum and anti-reflective acrylic glass
31.5 x 31.5 inches (80 x 80 cm)

French photographer Etienne Rougery-Herbaut marks his U.S. debut with Cornerstone, a selection of photographs made on the streets of New York that present a timeless portrait of the people who embody the spirit and soul of the city.

As the country’s most epic point of immigration with no less than the Statue of Liberty to welcome new arrivals to these shores, New York has long been the point of entry for people from all around the globe. As ethnic enclaves generations deep have nestled throughout the five boroughs for centuries, a new scourge presents itself in the form of gentrification.

The systemic whitewashing of New York has had a devastating effect but as Rougery-Herbaut’s portraits attest, they preserve perhaps simply because they are New York. In Cornerstone, the inaugural exhibition at Brannan Mason Gallery in Los Angeles, Rougery-Herbaut paid tribute to the people who represent the heart and soul of the city, despite all efforts to eradicate their presence.

Here, Rougery-Herbaut shares his journey with us.

Pioneer Artist & Model Ming Smith Reflects on a Life in Photography

Ming Smith. Grace Jones at Studio 54, 1978
archival pigment print, 30 x 40 inches

Ming Smith. Sun Ra Space II, New York City, NY, 1978
archival pigment print, 40 x 60 inches

In 1974, at the age of 23, Linda Goode Bryant opened Just Above Midtown (JAM), a non-profit New York arts organization dedicated to showing the work of artists of color in the heart of 57th Street, then the capital of the art world. Rent was a astonishing $300 per month, the 70% discount a testament to Goode Bryant’s negotiating prowess.

Like Goode Bryant, JAM was a revolution unto itself, with the intention to burn the art world down to the ground. JAM pioneered the works of now-renowned Black artists including Dawoud Bey, Norman Lewis, Senga Nengudi, Lorraine O’Grady, Howardena Pindell, Lorna Simposon, and Ming Smith — all of whom are being show at Frieze New York (May 2-5) as part of a special tribute to Linda Goode Bryant’s JAM Gallery from the 1970s.

The 2019 Frieze Stand Prize was awarded to Jenkins Johnson Gallery for their presentation of the work of photographer Ming Smith, whose contributions to the medium have recently come into clear focus. Hailing from Columbus, Ohio and educated at Howard University, Smith moved to New York in 1973 to live as an artist. To support herself, Smith joined the ranks of Grace Jones, Bethann Hardison, B. Smith, Sherry Bronfman, and Toukie Smith as the first generation of Black women to break the color barrier in the fashion and beauty industries,

Looking at San Francisco Through Hamburger Eyes

Mark Murrmann

Ted Pushinsky

Back in 2001, brothers Ray and David Potes were putting out photo zines the old fashioned way. Ray would edit and art direct while Dave ran copies while working in a college copy department. The one titled Hamburger Eyes really stood out — and began attracting photographers who wanted to share their work.

Ray, who was living in Hawaii at the start, moved to San Francisco where David was, and the city became home base for a vital street photography culture that recalled the glory of Garry Winogrand and Joel Meyerowitz.

Hamburger Eyes that quickly became a cult sensation in the photo underground, as the classic black and white format made the strange and mundane scenes of daily life all the more profound. In its back to basic approach, Hamburger Eyes elevated the photo zine into a work of art.

Over the years, Hamburger Eyes has gone on to publish 37 issues, as well as over 200 titles by artists, as well as two books — their latest SF Eyes: The Continuing Story of Life, Loss, Tragedy, and Triumph in the City of San Francisco as Captured by the All-Seeing Lens of Hamburger Eyes Photography Magazine just released by Hat & Beard Press in conjunction with a documentary film produced by Aaron Rose.

SF Eyes is a picture perfect postcard of San Francisco, when it was punk AF by crew members Jason Roberts Dobrin, Kappy, Dylan Maddux, Alex Martinez, Mark Murrmann, Ted Pushinsky, Andrea Sonnenberg, Stefan Simikich, and Tobin Yelland, among others.

Hamburger Eyes spent its formative years in San Francisco, becoming an integral part of the scene. With the sweeping changes to the city, and to photography as a whole, most of the crew have decamped, but the love for the town never grows old.

To celebrate two decades of San Francisco street photography, we have brought together some of the artists at the core to share the continuing story of Hamburger Eyes.

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